UPS Shutting Off

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by PiERiT, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    Maybe not the right subforum for this but I couldn't find anything appropriate.

    I have a relatively new (<6mo) TrippLite UPS rated for 300w. Had no problems with it until about 1~2 weeks ago when it beeped and turned off and cut power to everything in the Battery Backup ports. Everything else in my house remained powered on, as did everything in the Surge Protection ports.

    I thought maybe it was overloaded so I unplugged everything except my projector (which is 250w at its max) and turned it back on and ran a self test and everything was fine. Thought that fixed it but it just happened again 5 minutes ago.

    Any ideas before I replace it?

    Edit: Update in #24
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  2. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Anything plugged into it have active PFC?
     
  3. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    I'm not sure. The only thing I have in a battery backup outlet is a BenQ HT3550 which is really new and does not have a lot of info available. Is there an easy way to tell?
     
  4. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    So it comes down to one of two things:

    It’s overloaded and shutting down on that
    Or
    It’s broke

    I am willing to bet that projector surges high enough that it’s overloading the UPS. 300W is a small unit

    Keep in mind the real limit on a UPS is VA, not watts, and something can pull low watts but high VA.
     
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  5. Kwaz

    Kwaz Whine & Cheezy

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    As Brian_B mentioned, unplug the projector from the UPS. You really don't need a projector on a UPS anyways.

    If you unplug the projector does it still shut down?
     
  6. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    That's the only reason I have it. :(

    Is sudden power loss no longer a big problem for projectors? It takes like two minutes to fully shutdown in a normal scenario, and the fan runs during those two minutes. There is no instant off feature on this model.
     
  7. Kwaz

    Kwaz Whine & Cheezy

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    I honestly don't know. I've never owned a projector and only used one a handful of times.

    Those new laser projectors seem pretty cool though!
     
  8. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] Admin Staff Member

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  9. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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  10. ng4ever

    ng4ever [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have a BenQ HT3550 too connected to UPS.

    No problems here.
     
  11. pitingres

    pitingres [H]Lite

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    You could hook up the UPS port to their power management app and see if the UPS is trying to log anything. I suspect it might be a combination of being slightly undersized, the trip circuits might be off spec a little bit on the low side, and the projector drawing a bit more its rating.
     
  12. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    What model UPS? I may just buy that so I know it'll work, vs putzing around with this one and risking more power losses on the PJ.
     
  13. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

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    Sudden shutdowns of projectors is hard on the bulb and anything else in the hot zone. The fans run for a period of time after the bulb is powered off to cool everything down to safe levels. The older halogen/xenon lamps are more tolerant to heat, but newer LED types are very intolerant to heat and are rapidly damaged by overheating.
     
  14. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    That's what I thought. I moved the projector to a regular port, not a battery backup port, and it hasn't happened since. But I've no idea what to do to fix it and don't want to splurge on a new UPS unless I'm sure it'll work.
     
  15. EchoWars

    EchoWars Limp Gawd

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    Buy a UPS from someplace with a liberal return policy...
     
  16. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

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    Or do some scrounging around in second hand shops. People throw away perfectly good UPSes all the time because the batteries went bad and they didn't know they were replaceable.

    I have a 1500VA APC that I picked up from the junk yard several years ago for $5 with bad batteries. It cost $70 in batteries and a bit of time to rebuild the pack module, but well worth it considering the UPS itself was worth $450.

    I recently got another rack mountable 1500VA unit with the same problem, dead batteries. I popped three new batteries in it and it works great.

    I haven't bought a new UPS in over a decade.
     
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  17. Furious_Styles

    Furious_Styles [H]ard|Gawd

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    This is excellent advice! Wish I had thought of that a year ago or so. And hopefully the one I bought lasts a decade like yours.
     
  18. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

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    Something I forgot to mention, is the unit 300W or 300VA? Volt amps are not the same thing as watts. Volt amp measures apparent power, while watts measures real power. The maths can get a bit complicated, but basically the worse the power factor, the lower the conversion into watts.

    If you have a 300VA unit and something with an absolutely horrific power factor, like a capacitor dropper commonly used in LED bulbs, you have basically no capacity. Throwing a random value out there, like a power factor of .35 (a really poorly designed cap dropper), you'd only be able to have a 105W load on it. But switching to something like a purely resistive load like an electric heater with a near unity power factor of 1, you'd have a 300W unit.

    And maintaining your UPS can make it last for decades. The number one killer of UPSes are dead batteries left in units too long. The charging circuitry gets confused when the battery stops charging properly and will keep pumping current into the batteries, eventually causing them to bulge and rupture. The current draw can get high enough to damage the charging circuitry in addition to the unit from acid leakage.

    Replace the batteries every 2-3 years, even if they appear to be good to avoid trouble.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  19. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    I believe it's 550VA/300W and only 6mo old.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  20. ButtonPuncher

    ButtonPuncher Limp Gawd

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    I'd connect the UPS to a PC, install the management app (PowerAlert for Tripplite, Powerchute for APC) and see how much power that the projector is using and the estimated runtime. (Only plug the projector's power in to the UPS, not the PC. You only want to measure the projector's power draw.) I'm guessing that the UPS is too small. For example, a typical PC with two monitors, the smallest UPS that I will use is a 750VA model. Like a Eaton 3S 750. They come with a 35WPC battery which means that it is rated to run 35 watts per cell for 15 minutes. A 12V gel cell battery has 6 cells so it will run 210 watts for 15 minutes.

    I've had bad luck with new APC UPS's recently. I bought a 1500XS and it had a bad battery. It was a few months old, it went to do a weekly self test, everything shut off and it went in to alarm mode with a long continuous beep. It had two batteries, one was bad but because they are wired in series (for 24 volts), the UPS died.

    You could also test your UPS's runtime. Either use the UPS's app to determine how much that your projector is using or get a P3 Kill-a-watt to measure the power draw. Find something that draws approximately the same power. The one fun "variable" test load is a couple strings of old-school C7 or C9 Christmas lights. (Not the new LED versions but the ones with the bulbs that get hot.) They draw about 120-150 watts per string. Daisy chain strings (plug them in end-to-end) til you get the power draw that you want. You can unscrew bulbs to vary the power draw until you get it close to what you want your test load to be. Unplug the UPS from the wall, start a stopwatch and let it run til it dies.

    Like others have said, eBay is a great place to buy cheap but good UPS's. I've got a big APC Smart-UPS 2200VA unit for my home server rack and paid less than $200 for it. It uses four 12V, 18AH batteries and will run a 600W load for an hour.

    I also only use true sinewave UPS's for sensitive equipment like home theater and audio gear. A standard (cheap) UPS uses a modified sinewave (aka stepped square wave) that is really bad for delicate electronics. All of the APC Smart-UPS models are true sinewave. Just read the fine print and it'll say what it is.

    BTW, the heavier the UPS, the more capacity and runtime that you will get. Transformers have copper and iron in them. The bigger the transformer, the more capacity (VA or watts) that you will get. Batteries have lead in them. The more lead, the more runtime. For instance, I've had cheap UPS's comes with batteries that are 12V 7AH that have the same physical size of the 12V 9AH (35WPC) batteries that I typically use. The 7AH batteries are around 4.5lbs, the 35WPC (Enersys NPX-35) are a hair over 6lbs. Sure enough, the 7AH batteries runtime was terrible compared to the 35WPC batteries.

    HTH,
    BP
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  21. tedych

    tedych Limp Gawd

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    Just to be on the fair track - stepped sinewave ups'es like all line-interactive, run their output off the wall voltage (with any filtering and the avr) which is sinewave. Only when mains goes off do the ups output the awful stepped square. Depending on the frequency of the blackouts stepped sinewave could be just Ok. Well, I do avoid such Ups'es myself whenever possible though.
     
  22. ButtonPuncher

    ButtonPuncher Limp Gawd

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    True but I really don't recommend running an expensive AVR or display off of anything that isn't a true sinewave. Even if it may only be powered by it for short durations.

    I'd equate a modified sinewave UPS to running your gasoline powered car on diesel. It may run but it's not going to be good. A true sinewave UPS is like changing to an auxiliary tank of gasoline. Your car doesn't know that anything has happened.

    True sinewave UPS are now not that much more expensive than modified sinewave...

    $120 - CyberPower CP850PFCLCD
    https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16842102131

    $150 - APC BR1000MS
    https://www.newegg.com/apc-br1000ms-4-x-nema-5-15r-6-x-nema-5-15r/p/N82E16842301698
     
  23. tedych

    tedych Limp Gawd

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    Sure, if one can get it, get a true sinewave.
    But... Although I have true sinewaves for more than 11 years now, blackouts were so rare (since then, what a coincidence)... that they are probably 5 minutes a year.
    And I wouldn't equate gasoline car to diesel. Rather a gasoline car to the same running off methane. Some parts of the engine are worn out faster but 5-10 minutes a year is nothing. So, if blackouts are infrequent AND the price tag difference is stiff, I'd probably get a good line-int non-sinewave. The thing is good line-ints are very often the sinewave ones.
     
  24. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    Update: I replaced the Tripp Lite AVR550U with a CyberPower ST900U and it still happens. This was at 3am this morning (18.5 days after installation) when nothing was even turned on. The UPS just screeched a bunch and shut off.

    I bought two of these CyberPower ST900U, the second for my desktop, and that UPS turned itself off too. I don't think I lost power, certainly not long enough to expend the runtime when they were both at 0% load. I installed the CyberPower management software a minute ago and both of them report no events and are nowhere near being overloaded. The self-tests both succeeded.

    Weirder still, the old Tripp Lite AVR550U that I was previously using for my projector, I'm now using that for my network equipment and that did NOT shut off. Nor did a cheapo AmazonBasics UPS in another room.

    Any ideas? Some power issue with my house (these are separate circuits)? Or still the sine wave thing mentioned above? The UPSes are worthless to me if they're just going to shut off randomly for no reason, but I'm hesitant to try yet another model (one with pure sine wave) and risk having the same issue with that. The vast majority of UPSes appear to be simulated sine wave rather than pure and no one seems to have any issues using them. I can yank the power cable on either of these and everything remains powered on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
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  25. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    only thing i could think of is maybe a bad ground? i know i had issues with my UPS's in my previous house due to the grounds being faked.. ended up having to run a ground wire from the room i had my stuff in across the entire basement to the only circuit that had a ground. not really recommended to do though, only needed to work for 6 months since i was going to replace all the wiring in that house anyways.
     
  26. arnemetis

    arnemetis 2[H]4U

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    Sounds like a grounding issue or other wiring problem, especially with your noticing the previous offender working fine on a different circuit, and the units shutting off with nothing connected. Power is so dirty that that difference pure sinewave makes isn't worth it in almost any case, I have 6x units here and my pcs and network equipment are on modified sine wave. The only thing on pure sinewave is the avr & projector, but that was on sale for the running price of a modified unit at the time, so I figured why not slap it on that stuff. Anyway if you yank the power and everything remains fine, I again am inclined to think there is something wrong with your wiring & grounding. A UPS only turns off like that if there's a fault or if it's overloaded.
     
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  27. Gamer X

    Gamer X Limp Gawd

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    You need to get a multimeter, or have the ground checked at your panel.
     
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  28. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    What would I be looking for with a multimeter? I'm not very knowledgeable with this stuff.

    I may just call an electrician but I have had bad luck with that so far at this house. I was having a really weird issue with my receiver losing its video signal whenever I turned my kitchen lights on or off and the electrician I had come out threw his hands up in the air after 4 seconds and blamed my equipment. Turns out it was due to those lights being ballast-powered and I had him rewire everything to accept ballast-bypass bulbs, and that fixed it, but it took a lot of time and money and convincing to get him to believe that I had already ruled out everything unrelated to the electric wiring. :(

    That problem returned when I began using a MoCA adapter, specifically for the device it was providing connectivity to, and this time it happened not only when I turned my lights on or off but also when my fridge or AC or microwave turned on or off. I fixed that with an "EMI-resistant" HDMI cable but when I posted about it here some folks thought that was also a grounding issue, so maybe that is in fact the root cause for all of this crap.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  29. arnemetis

    arnemetis 2[H]4U

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    Man you got some serious wiring issues. Being serious here, have you considered moving? Electrical issues can be quite the rabbit hole, and you may end up pretty much rewiring the entire place. If you've dealt with a frustrated electrician before, you might get lucky with a new one but don't count on it. This level of issues exceed my knowledge, I ran my own new wiring for two new circuits in my basement, so all I can suggest is gut at least the problematic runs?
     
  30. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Checking ground requires a special meter - can't really get a good measurement with just a standard multimeter

    You need a good electrician.

    If you want to roll the dice and DIY - you could get 3 grounding rods (long copper rods - usually 8-12' long). Drive them into the ground on different sides of the house - connect them all with copper and connect that to the ground/neutral strip in your electrical box.

    That will ground the crap out of your home. I wouldn't bet my home not burning down or someone getting badly shocked on that working though if you aren't confident in electrical work yourself.

    yes, right now you just have strange feedback/EMI issues. But a bad ground can cause a lot more problems, especially if it gets worse. It explains your ballast issue you talk about, and a whole lot more.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  31. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    I just moved in a year ago. :( House was built in 06. Aside from the things mentioned in this thread I've had no other problems.

    I'll call an electrician I guess. What should I tell him? That I suspect some outlets aren't grounded properly?
     
  32. arnemetis

    arnemetis 2[H]4U

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    Yes, and identify all that has been done, and all the issues you've laid out here. The fuller the picture you can paint for him, the better off you will be I suspect. With any luck it won't be too much of a pain to fix it,with it being that new at least we shouldn't have to worry about old wiring being decayed and certainly not anything like knob & tube.
     
  33. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    Ok I'll give that a shot. Thanks everyone.
     
  34. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    yeah either some contractor cheaped the hell out and used an unlicensed electrician or worst case if you didn't buy the house new in 2006 you got a bad flip job and they just used what ever some person at home depot suggested they use. but there is legit something wrong with that house if it was built in 2006 with these kind of problems. hopefully it's a simple fix though and they don't have to rerun wiring.

    just a side note, check and see if there are any GFCI plugs on any or all the circuit's that shouldn't otherwise have one(excluding the bathroom/kitchen which will usually have them) because those can be used to create a false positive ground.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  35. Gamer X

    Gamer X Limp Gawd

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    OMG... how did we go from electrical problems, to MOVING?

    There are devices you can buy, that you can plug into your outlets and monitor the condition of your electricity. How dirty it is, or how irregular it is, or if you have ground-fault issues, etc..

    Your issue, might be something you have plugged in, that kicks on once and a while and messes with your house's current, etc. (Window air conditioner).


    Worse case It will cost you about $600 for a new Panel and another $300+ to have a few Electricians install it. Or, $1200 for an outfit that knows what they are doing and can adds/isolate different runs/circuits to the box. My computer room has pure sinewave going to all the outlets. That was an additional $2k with UPS. My motherboards thank me...
     
  36. arnemetis

    arnemetis 2[H]4U

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    You didn't consider how much it would cost to start ripping walls apart and then repairing if they have to start chasing wiring runs to find a faulty/damaged install. It may not be as 'easy' as replacing the circuit breaker. Costs in your area for an electrician may also vary significantly from the op.
     
  37. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Before you call a sparky, identify every light, switch and outlet on the circuit(s) in question. You can do that as easy as sparky can and probably a lot cheaper. If you are up to it, check all the boxes for proper and tight connections. Very possible that Electrician's Apprentice Bob was on his first job and his work wasn't properly checked. There could be a poor connection that worked ok in 06 but now is loose and intermittent. Even if you don't want to touch anything, you can put colored stickers on all the cover plates over boxes that need checking. That way when the electrician arrives, they can get right to work. Outside chance you will find a weird gizmo plugged in that is causing your problems.